This new Porsche 911 Turbo S was just one of many cars I didn’t get to see when it wasn’t launched at this year’s non- existent Geneva Motor Show. It saddened me a little – I’m not one for looking at cars parked on stands, and have long believed that the motor show in its traditional form has been living on borrowed time for years, possibly decades. But I wanted to talk to the man responsible for the car.
Frank-Steffen Walliser was, until recently, in charge of Porsche’s motor sport department, the Weissach-based skunkworks that produces all the road and racing cars with interesting acronyms: GT3, GT2, RS and RSR. But last year he was promoted and re-purposed and, whatever his job title, is known simply as ‘Mr 911’, which means he has responsibility for the future health and well-being of one of the most enduring and iconic sports car names.
And then it turned out we could speak after all, albeit by Zoom. So I ditched the usual pleasantries and suggested that, for all of Porsche’s undoubted power, when it came to the simple business of driving, the 911 Turbo has never lived up to its flagship billing. I may have mentioned that I’d never driven a Turbo I preferred to a cheaper, slower Carrera. But instead of bridling and finding a polite way to tell me I’d completely missed the point of the car, instead, he said: “We are aware of the feedback and have taken steps to address it.” It took the wind out of my sails.